Case Study: Prudential Financial

By Laura Rich  |  Posted 06-01-2004 Print Email
Self-Service Target Contract Sales Force
Challenge
Customized marketing materials

Number of Users
150, with plans to expand to 800

Bottom Line
Saves 50 percent on storage of unused inventory

Key Technologies
Xerox Global Services' Digital Collateral

Sales executives, or producers, as they're called at Prudential Financial Inc., know that their high-end—i.e., most desirable—target clients require a time-intensive, highly personalized approach, especially for estate-planning products which are, by their nature, complex, and require extensive, sophisticated lists of options for the client. To support their pitch, producers assembled the usual brochures, charts and such that would help explain the product in general terms, and also offer background on Prudential Financial. But, producers said, these materials—no matter how slick—fell short of what they needed. "This product is sold face-to-face," notes Gregg Cromeans, director of individual life marketing for Prudential Financial. "It's important to reinforce that with the right materials."

What the producers really wanted were brochures customized down to the individual prospective buyer. On the face of it, this seemed like a preposterous and, frankly, impossible proposition: Printing brochures involves days of design by the in-house art department, an order to a printer, shipment back to Prudential and, finally, storage in a warehouse. The entire process took an average of 60 days.

Well, the solution to more personalized marketing turned out to be self-service. With the help of Xerox Global Services, Prudential rolled out a Web-based program that allowed producers to create personalized brochures, track leads and measure new business. The art department, which previously spent weeks developing a brochure, was assigned the task of developing templates and content components. In three short months, the system was installed.

Now when producers log on, the system identifies them and delivers relevant brochure components such as the producer's name, title and photo (so the customer can remember his rep), and the aspects of the product appropriate to the customer, according to region, industry designation or individual. Once the producer selects the particular components, they can preview the brochure in a PDF file before designating it for printing at Xerox. The final product can be on their desks the next day." This brings the conversation with the customer down to one-to-one," Cromeans says.

Even better, the Prudential-Xerox program also provides detailed reports that allow the company to tie-in with a system that tracks the evolution of leads from target to customer and measures the process of new business in man-hours, effectiveness of materials and costs.

Within 60 weeks of the roll out, 540 brochures had been printed, and 80 percent of them had been customized to some extent. Prudential Financial estimates that at least 15 percent of all sales for its new products can be attributed to the personalized brochures. The company now plans to roll this out to other departments in the company.

Mind you, Prudential's self-service approach does not actually reduce the cost of each brochure, which, according to Cromeans, is "pennies more" in the new system. However, there are fewer unused brochures produced overall, saving 50 percent on inventory costs. Says Cromeans, "Now, I don't have a warehouse. I don't have a waste factor."



 

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